Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who has been under federal investigation for issues including possible child sex trafficking, has now hired two criminal defense attorneys as the probe continues. In other words, no matter his public bluster, even Gaetz appears to acknowledge that this situation is not some kind of Democratic public relations game — it’s substantive. Gaetz has claimed that the allegations that he is facing are part of some kind of political pushback against him, but tangible evidence has emerged that shows a suspicious cash transfer from Gaetz to suspected child sex trafficker Joel Greenberg.
Gaetz’s new defense attorneys include Marc Mukasey — who is also representing the Trump Organization in investigations from Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance and New York state Attorney General Letitia James — and Isabelle Kirshner. Gaetz has also tapped the services of a public relations firm known as the Logan Circle Group, which is staffed by people including ex-Apprentice contestant Erin Elmore and far-right commentator Harlan Hill, who was banned from Fox News after calling Kamala Harris an “insufferable lying b-tch” on Twitter.
On Friday, Elmore issued the following statement:
‘Matt has always been a fighter — a fighter for his constituents, a fighter for the country, and a fighter for the Constitution. He’s going to fight back against the unfounded allegations against him. His legal team, led by Marc Mukasey and Isabelle Kirshner, will take the fight to those trying to smear his name with falsehoods.’
Neither Mukasey nor Kirshner offered any other substantive comments about their new roles when questioned by CNBC, although a Kirshner spokesperson confirmed that her boss and Mukasey were Gaetz’s new criminal defense attorneys. In recent days, the news emerged that Greenberg, a noted Gaetz associate, was preparing to plead guilty in the federal case against him, and plea deals often entail cooperation with relevant other investigations — like, in this case, the Gaetz probe. Greenberg’s attorney Fritz Scheller said he was “sure Matt Gaetz isn’t feeling very comfortable” after the plea-related announcement.
Although Gaetz has now retained the services of a lawyer handling two Trump-related cases, the ex-president himself has been comparatively quiet regarding the Congressman’s case. Trump has issued one statement mentioning Gaetz, denying that Gaetz had sought a pardon from Trump while he was in office and insisting that “[it] must… be remembered that he has totally denied the accusations against him” — but his denials are obviously questionable considering details like his Venmo transfer to Greenberg. When sending the money, Gaetz asked Greenberg to “hit up” a particular 18-year-old.